Rangers defender Borna Barisic was nowhere to be seen in the Rangers squad on Wendesday night & some are now wondering if he’s fallen out of favour with manager Steven Gerrard.
The Croatian summer signing has shown impressive form in bursts this season, although has been dogged with fitness and injury issues throughout, to the frustration of the Ibrox boss.
During the recent training camp in Tenerife, Gerrard spoke openly about his desire for both Barisic and Eros Grezda to show consistency in fitness so that he can select them regularly, warning them that there is no room for sick notes at the club.
As quoted by The Daily Record, he said: “They need to use the next two weeks as a mini pre-season to get their bodies ready to cope with the physical demands of Scotland and the regular game schedule. There’s no doubt both have got quality. Borna has shown that regularly when he’s played but we haven’t had him fit enough so he needs to get more robust.”
Barisic’s case wasn’t helped when on Sunday during a friendly with HJK Helsinki he went down injured and appeared to be in significant pain, before apparently being fine after the match.
Steven Gerrard sounded miffed in his interview afterwards, suggesting he was none too happy with the player over-egging the injury.
— Rangers Football Club (@RangersFC) January 20, 2019
Gerrard confirmed in the build-up to Wednesday’s trip to Rugby Park that the left-back was fully fit, but he was not named in the starting eleven or on the bench, a decision that has perplexed many.
This weekend will tell us all we need to know with regards to his status in Gerrard’s first-team. If he is again missing then we can reasonably assume he isn’t exactly in favour with the Rangers manager. That would be a shame for all concerned considering his ability.
It could be the case that he was protected from Kilmarnock’s artificial pitch but that theory seems flimsy when we are fighting for every possible point available to us right now.
Hopefully he is involved going forward as we can’t risk freezing him out and losing one of the more promising summer signings when on form.
All eyes on this weekend’s team selection.